Ola Electric has announced that it will spend $500 million to set up a Battery Innovation Centre in Bengaluru. The centre, which the company claims are Asia’s largest cell R&D facility, will be up and running next month.
The center will house advanced labs and 165 pieces of lab equipment required for battery innovation. It will recruit 500 PhDs and engineers, supported by an additional 1,000 researchers in India and other global centres, reports The Economic Times. Ola’s investment announcement comes just days after it unveiled its indigenously built lithium-ion cell NMC 2170. The company will begin the mass production of the cell from its Chennai-based factory next year.
EV adoption in India is shifting into overdrive—fueling creative solutions. As Ola Electric today on 18th July 2022, announces the investment of $500 million for setting up its state-of-the-art Battery Innovation Centre (BIC) in Bengaluru, BIC would recruit top global talent, including 500 PhDs and engineers who will be supported by an additional 1000 researchers in India and multiple other global centres.
Ola’s BIC in Bangaluru will be the cornerstone for core cell tech development and battery innovation out of India for the world. BIC will house advanced labs and high-tech equipment for battery innovation and will power India’s journey toward becoming a global EV hub.
The case for immediate electrification of consumer transport in India is undeniable. The transport sector accounts for about 17 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulating supply and demand for electric-vehicle (EV) adoption in the mass market will be pivotal for countries like India to meet national emissions goals and a global 1.5-degree climate change target set by PM Modi.
India’s EV market is on track for enormous growth, and material opportunities for significant value creation exist across the value chain. India stands on the threshold of a new age of electrified mobility thanks to developments over the past 3 years. Spurred by a renewed sense of urgency, a regulator in India has set far more demanding goals for curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light vehicles. Automakers have also raised their game and introduced electric vehicle (EV) options in every part of their product portfolios. Together, these forces are turbocharging the Indian market for EVs. The impact of these developments on sales of EVs will be dramatic. According to a forecast, pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will be the most popular type of light vehicle sold globally in 2028. It holds out greater hope for the health of the planet as well. The European Union’s announcement banning sales of new ICE vehicles from 2035 is a game changer for the global automotive industry. It puts the bloc on course to hit its 2050 emission reduction targets for transportation. India, while it still has work to do to achieve its climate goals, is also in a better position as companies like Ola Electric were recently allocated 20GWh capacity under the ACC PLI scheme by the Government for developing advanced cells in India and is setting up a cell manufacturing facility with an initial capacity of up to 20 GWh, localising the most critical part of the EV value chain.
There’s a sting in the tail of this rosy outlook, however. As consumer demand rises in the country, winning in this market, automakers will have to find ways to resolve problems in their supply chains. They will need to take an innovative approach, collaborate more closely with other players, and build an effective ecosystem.